Benjamin Franklin Charter School - Queen Creek
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Benjamin Franklin students have lost in-person learning time, during both academic years, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Out of the subgroup categories, our most prevalent would be: English Learners, low-income families, students with disabilities, and the lesser prevalent groups are homeless, migratory, and those in foster care. Benjamin Franklin is committed to meeting the needs of all students within the aforementioned subgroups. Benjamin Franklin uses the Core Virtues program which is aligned to SEL standards, and teachers set examples for students and teach them through acknowledgement, praise, and role playing. Respect for personal and public property is taught by stressing respect rather than fear of punishment. Respect, heroism, self-discipline, gratitude, generosity, courage, justice, compassion, courtesy, and hope and the meaning of citizenship are taught through the use of the Core Virtues Program. Due to the stressful impact of COVID-19, Benjamin Franklin is responding to the necessary need to increase Social-Emotional Learning by adjusting elementary expectations in terms of social and emotional well-being. Some of the adjustments include interactive Bulletin Boards and book studies in which students demonstrate a solid understanding, a relationship with, or meaningful connections with a specific virtue.
Current Child Find policies and procedures will be reviewed and changes will be implemented, including ensuring identification, location, and evaluation of children who may need special education and related services including underserved groups, such as children experiencing homelessness, migratory children, and highly mobile children. Resources and materials will be provided to aid teachers and staff in accomplishing program goals and work with district staff to develop and encourage participation in programs that support at-risk students. English Language Learners will be supported by consistent monitoring of growth within the EL Program, and will supply targeted professional development for content teachers who have EL students on implementation of strategies to provide meaningful access to the content, to promote English Language development using ELP standards, and to offer language accommodations during instruction using various modes and modalities. Additional professional development will be offered for all teachers on formative assessment strategies to monitor the progress of English learners in content and language instruction.
Success will be measured through formative and summative assessments as well as from monitoring student progress through goal setting in a student's IEP or through the EL Program and from documented teacher feedback. Behavioral and academic interventions will be constantly monitored, analyzed, and evaluated to determine their effectiveness. Benjamin Franklin uses iSTEEP as a tool that helps us identify students who need additional academic support and intervention, including the subgroups of English Learners, students with disabilities, students of color, low-income students, foster, and migratory students.
Students experiencing loss of learning due to COVID-19 or other factors who fall within the subgroup categories will be provided additional instruction and interventions as needed in the following ways: Child Find Process, additional testing, monthly screenings, tutoring, after school intervention sessions, social skills lessons, IEP's and 504 plans.
Setaside funds will be used to transition to implementation of Conscious Discipline SEL. Staff at each school (4 schools) will implement an SEL program based on Conscious Discipline, a trauma-informed, evidence based program that provides Social Emotional Learning based on 4 key components (Conscious discipline brain state model, seven powers for conscious adults, creating the school family, and seven skills of discipline).
Staff members will attend Conscious Discipline Methodology training and will spend 10 hours/week (0.25 FTE) for 3 years both working directly with students to improve SEL skills using this brain-based program as well as providing professional development to teachers that will directly impact how teachers interact with students. All students who need services will benefit from this program including but not limited to students with disabilities, English Learners, students of all races and genders, and students who are low income or otherwise disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
In addition the LEA will purchase iXL software for after school academic interventions to provide remediation for any students who have learning gaps due to COVID closures, including but not limited to tudents with disabilities, English Learners, students of all races and genders, and students who are low income or otherwise disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Remaining funds will be used to maintain and improve academics after COVID closures. Purchases will include those to improve educator effectiveness (instructional coaching, Spalding training), provide technology-enhanced learning (chromebooks, network switches, PA system, IT staff, iSTEEP benchmarking software, Screencastify), and mitigate virus spread (gym curtains, touchless pickup, COVID leave for employees)